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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Osama Bin Who?

In case anyone has forgotten, the terrorist mastermind of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 is a man named Osama Bin Laden.

Osama remains at large.

You may also recall something President George W. Bush said on Sept. 17, 2001, regarding Bin Laden:

"I want justice," Bush said of Bin Laden. "And there's an old poster out West...I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive.'"

As things turned out, the Bush administration's attention turned to the pressing issue of Iraq, and how Saddam Hussein's massive stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons were an imminent threat to the United States. Saddam could sell the weapons to terrorist groups and, as many in the Bush administration said, the "smoking gun" could turn out to be a "mushroom cloud." Of course, as the hunt progressed and no WMDs were to be found in Iraq, Bush defenders offered up a ludicrous excuse about the failure to find WMDs, stating that Bush had never said Iraq possed an "imminent threat." I guess it depends on what the definition of "is" is, right, Bush defenders?

Of course, lost in the rubble that became the current conflict in Iraq (1502 U.S. lives lost in the war so far to disarm Saddam Hussein), was Osama Bin Laden himself.

As time progressed and Bin Laden remained at large, eventually the Bush administration decided to take a course of action by never actually mentioning the name of the man responsible for over 3,000 deaths on Sept. 11. I guess W. thought that famous short attention spans of Americans would assist him and his administration in removing the name Osama Bin Laden from our collective memories. Something. But, of course, Americans have not forgotten, and we wonder why the United States has been unsuccessful in finding and bringing Bin Laden to justice.

Now, almost five years later, George W. Bush has addressed the issue of Osama Bin Laden. Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for the new director of homeland security, Mike Chertoff, Bush said, of Bin Laden, "We're on a constant hunt for bin Laden. We're keeping the pressure on him, keeping him in hiding." Addressing the recent intelligence report of communication between Bin Laden and his man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Bush said, "...today Zarqawi understands the coalition and Iraqi troops are on a constant hunt for him as well...Bin Laden's message is a telling reminder that al-Qaida still hopes to attack us on our own soil," Bush said. "Stopping him is the greatest challenge of our day..."

Personally I'd probably be a bit more concerned about North Korea, a country that has told the world repeatedly that it possessed at least one nuclear weapon, which could be used to attack nearby Japan, home to thousands of U.S. forces.

It amazes me to no end that so many people defend the actions of George W. Bush and his administration. And it seemed to phase no one at all when Bush claimed that his administration was not responsible for the intelligence failures that led to the United States attacking Iraq and the failure to find WMDs because, as Bush put it, "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush told the Washington Post on Jan. 16. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

See how that works? It's a neat trick, something the Beltway press corps will not touch out of a fear that the Bush administration would simply shut them out of press conferences.

America...what a country.

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